If you’re shopping for your first hearing aid and finding the process confusing, you are not alone. When Consumer Reports did a comparative report on hearing aids, they followed consumers for six months as they tried to figure out which one to buy. What they found was less than satisfying, because they found that two-thirds of the aids were either improperly fitted or that they provided either too much or too little volume. Prices varied widely, and the people selling them did not always provide the kinds of information the shoppers needed. That said, there are tips that can help you when shopping for your first hearing aid, and in this article we’ll cover a few of them. However, we can’t cover all the information you need to make this important decision in this article so please have a read through Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids – a useful in-depth decision making tool provided by The Better Hearing Institute (BHI). It is an article provided by a non-profit corporation called the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), which provides educational materials about hearing loss and how to correct it. In addition to their suggestions, here are ours:
Seek professional help
Make an appointment with us or with another certified hearing specialist in your area, and read the information in the BHI guidelines before you go. It will help you to ask the right questions and know what the right answers are.
Decide which type of aid is best for you
This is decided while working with the specialists, who will use tests they conduct during Step 1 to determine your type and severity of hearing loss. Settling on the perfect hearing aid for you will take into account the type of hearing loss you are experiencing as well as your budget.
Do your research
After selecting the type of hearing aid that is best for your situation use the Internet to research different models. Look for price comparisons from different vendors, reports on the frequency of problems and repairs, and most important, reviews from users as to the unit’s comfort and reliability.
Locate a reputable vendor
This may be the hearing specialist you went to in Step 1, or someone recommended by them. Whoever you select as the vendor, make sure they have the proper training to make molds of your ears and fit hearing aids properly. While it is possible to buy hearing aids on the Internet, this is not recommended because most models have to be custom-fitted.
Make sure the aids fit and work properly
Your first fitting should include tests by your vendor to ensure comfortable fit and good function of your new hearing aid. The vendor should also provide free follow-up sessions to fine-tune either the fit or the performance of the hearing aids, and should be willing to offer you a “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty when purchasing them.
Good luck, and know that our specialists are here to help you in any way that we can.